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Knives and Wilderness Survival


Knives and Wilderness Survival is a follow in post to Surviving the Wilderness Mentally

One of the most important tools that you need to have whenever you are planning a camping, hiking, or any other type of outdoor adventure are knives. You can use a knife for many different things such as cutting, building a shelter, killing food, as well as protection from other animals. A knife is also very convenient and lightweight which makes it very easy to carry with you on any types of outdoor adventure.

There are many different knives that you can take a long with you such as knives at your local outdoor stores. If you find yourself lost in the woods and needing a handy weapon such as a knife you can also make them yourself in many different ways.


Knives Scandinavian Stone Axe and Knife By Harri Blomberg
Scandinavian Stone Axe and Knife By Harri Blomberg

One of the most popular types of homemade knives can be made by stone. Simply find a stone that is pointed. Once you have selected the stone you are going to use to create a knife your next step is to lash the stone with either a stick or wood, creating a knife end with the stone.


Knives A hand carved bone knife, dating to the 17th to 18th century
The Portable Antiquities Scheme, Faye Sayer, 2006-02-07

Another popular knife you can create is a bone knife. These are very popular amongst survivalist and can be easily created from any type of bone that you can find, such as an animal bone. After you have a bone you then take a rock or wood and shape it into a pointed knife. A bone knife can be very useful in making punctures.


Knives Wooden ikul
Wooden ikul British Museum

Another type of knife that you can make when stranded out in the wilderness is a wood knife. You want to make sure that you choose a type of wood that is hard and dry. You want to take your piece of wood and use a stone or other type of wood to shape the piece of wood to a pointed end. A wooden knife is one of the most common choices of weapons to use when stranded in the wilderness, because they are easily created and the materials are literally right at your fingertips.


You can also make a knife with bamboo. Bamboo is very easy to shape but still provides a strong point to use as your jagged edge of your knife. Taking a stone and shaping the knife with a sharp point is very easy to do, that is if you can find a source of bamboo in the area that you are lost in.


You can also find metals throughout the wilderness that you can use and have been proven to be very effective in protecting yourself from other predators, as well as building and cutting things. The metal acts just as a real knife does and if you are lucky enough to find some spare metal around, you can easily shave it down into the shape of a knife with a very sharp point.


Knives have always been a very important and significant tool to have if you are deciding to embark on any type of outdoor trip or adventure and should definitely be an item that is a necessity for your survival backpack.

In a later post we will examine in more detail the requirements of a good wilderness knife. A minimum or beginners set should at least consist of the following two utilised as a pair. This will allow you to accomplish most tasks. However it is important to learn and understand the limitations of these knives as with all the tools you carry.


Morakniv are one of the most well known knife companies in the outdoor market. They have a range of knives for every budget. When starting out one of their cheaper products is ideal. It will allow you to practice skills and carry out most tasks without breaking the budget. Also it is not expensive to replace if lost or broken (take care when batoning with the lower prices models). Two options for beginners are:

Morakniv Companion

Knives Mora Companion
Mora Companion

Morakniv Craftline

Knives Mora Craftline
Mora Craftline


The iconic Swiss Army Knife has stood the test of time for many years with good reason. As an outdoor tool limit your temptation to purchase a model with numerous blades/tools that you will not use. It is much better to have one with fewer useful tools such as the two below.

MAP Walker

Knives Victorinox MAP Walker
Victorinox MAP Walker


Knives Victorinox Hiker
Victorinox Hiker

Of special importance with folding knives is the possibility of the blade folding onto the fingers. Care should be taken with these knives. Again practice of skills and correct utilisation of the tool will minimise risk.

When ever using a bladed or sharp tool, also carry and have at hand a ‘cuts kit’ or first aid kit, and know how to use it.

You’ll find that a handy knife can be a very valuable tool to have when you are trying to surviving in the outdoors!

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